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One association calls for a discussion about Special Economic Zones with government

by June 21st, 2017

The group that represents the majority of Business Processing Outsourcing companies says it has concerns about the proposed regulations for the Special Economic Zones SEZ and wants to discuss them with the government.

The Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica BPIAJ is calling on the government to have dialogue before it finalizes the regulation which it believes has the potential to stifle the growth of BPO in Jamaica.

BPIAJ President, Dr. Guna Muppuri says chief among the  concerns is how the industry will be treated under the Special Economic Zone regime, which imposes not only a host of fees and regulations, but also more red tape and bureaucracy.

According to the group, Jamaica’s BPO Industry has been identified as the main driver of the country’s growth agenda, and the government has targeted the creation of 100,000 BPO jobs in five years.

It adds that the BPO Sector is the island’s largest employer, and the fastest growing industry, contributing over 400 million US dollars annually to the local economy.

The BPIAJ  warns that this potential is precarious, pointing out that in 2016 the industry added over 6000 new agents, yet net job growth in the industry has stagnated in 2017, which it says is directly attributable to the ongoing climate of uncertainty surrounding the SEZ legislation, and the range of new fees and taxes being imposed on the sector.

 

He says the impact on the industry can be seen. He states that new investors are holding back, observing the government’s legislative moves, and existing players are slowing the pace of expansion, while they assess whether Jamaica will continue to be an attractive BPO destination.

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